The Chou is loving her new routine.
I realized some time ago that as much as we don't do much in a day, I also wasn't paying enough attention to what she needed in her day to help her sleep. I'd sometimes take an hour of trying to lay her down for a nap, only to be frustrated when she'd have none of it. Night time wasn't all that difficult, but the waking every 2 hours some nights was wearing me down. I read two or three books, all of which had some good points but a lot of rubbish I couldn't wrap my head around.
Then I found Tracy Hogg. Again, there are a few things I don't agree with, but for the most part her philosophy is: feed your baby, have play and activity time, then they sleep and you have time for yourself. She explains the entire theory of course, and never, ever suggests a schedule for babies - but a flexible routine so they know what to expect.
Reading the book I realized a few things - I jump to Chou's aid at every noise, day or night, and I should first stop and listen and try and figure out what she's saying. In just a few days, I've figured out just how different her boredom, hunger and sleepy sounds are. I thought I had it figured, but alas, I did not. I've also always nursed her right before putting her down for naps or night time. Hogg's suggestion? Nurse, then have activity (bath, stories), then bed. You're still having a night time nurse, just not RIGHT before nodding off. Same goes for nap time; feed her when she wakes up, play and then when she shows sleepy signs (that I now notice) lay her down after a cuddle and let her drift off on her own. And if she cries? Go in and reassure her, stand by her crib and pat her back until she calms - pick her up if you must. No crying it out, no scheduled leaving/returning. This I could do, I thought.
And after two days? Chou put herself to sleep in 32 minutes the first nap, 20 the next, then 10, then 7 - and never cried and I didn't nurse her to sleep.
Last night was the kicker though. I thought naps were an anomally in that I don't typically nurse her to sleep during nap time anyway. Instead of bath/stories/nurse, we did nurse/bath/stories and Mr. Wumpus put her to bed. I expected tears, I expected crying, I expected an hour of reassurance and staying by her crib.
Instead, she laid her head down, grabbed her Cuskie and her sucky and nodded off to dreamland without a peep or nipple in sight. And then she slept for five hours straight.
You've got to be joking.
I love you, Tracy Hogg. I love you.